Welcome to a Halu-Halo series: Author-ish. Halu-halo, as a blog, has always focused on inspiration, and our interviews will ask authors about theirs. Author-ish is named as such because these interviews won't be about the craft of writing, but all the feelings behind it.
FEATURED AUTHOR :: SIDNEY HALSTON
USA Today bestselling author, Sidney Halston lives her life with one simple rule: "Just Do It"--Nike. And that's exactly what she did.
After working hard as an attorney, Sidney picked up a pen for the first time at thirty years old to begin her dream of writing. Having never written anything other than very exciting legal briefs, she found an outlet for her imaginative, romantic side and wrote Seeing Red. That first pen stroke sealed the deal, and she fell in love with writing. Sidney lives in South Florida with her husband and children. She loves her family above all else, and reading follows a close second. When she's not writing, you can find her reading and reading and reading. She's a reader first and a writer second. When she's not writing or reading, her life is complete and utter chaos, trying to balance family life with work and writing (and reading). But she wouldn't have it any other way.
BELOW THE BELT :: Random House/Loveswept Release Date: February 10, 2015 -- TODAY! WOOP!!
Below the Belt (Worth the Fight Series Book 3)
Once one of the most sought-after names on the mixed martial arts circuit, Antonio “Scarface” Marino watched his career go down for the count as he chased skirts and made tabloid headlines. Now he’s finally making a comeback, and it’s all thanks to Francesca Silva, a Brazilian bombshell as tough as any of her fighters. But who’s the real Francesca: the trash-talking trainer who rides him hard, or the vulnerable woman who blushes at his touch?
Francesca went to the mat to sign Tony because she believes he still has the potential to bring big success to her gym—if she can keep his head in the cage and out of her personal life. After a short-lived marriage soured her on love, a one-night stand is all she can handle. Now Tony’s kisses are stirring up complicated feelings—especially when he agrees to face her ex in the ring. Francesca’s used to freezing guys out. But Tony’s tempting her to give in to the heat.
Tif (haluhalo): I'm so excited to have Sidney on the blog, since she is truly such a fantastic lady. Witty, funny and just absolutely off the cuff, she went from publishing the first to the third book in no time flat! Sidney, thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to talk with us. What was your inspiration for BELOW THE BELT?
Sidney Halston : Hi Tif. Thank you for having me here today! I feel like I know you already.
So, the inspiration for Below the Belt was Francesca’s character. I have had her on mind from the time I wrote AGAINST THE CAGE (Worth the Fight Book 1) and couldn’t wait to write about her. In my husband’s MMA gym there are some real butt-kicking women and watching them train and then seeing how they are outside of the Academy is what inspired Francesca.
Tif: I truly love the premise of your Below the Belt series because it gives a glimpse of a culture most people don't know about. Even better that it's a place where women can show some real strength. How did you keep this inspiration forefront while you worked?
Sidney : I think that writing the first book of the series was the most challenging because you’re sort of introducing and building a new world. That was when I really needed to find inspiration. I was originally inspired by watching the men at my husband’s MMA gym interacting with one another. As I am writing a book, I’m already thinking of the next one and setting it up. So, the short answer would be my inspiration mostly comes from the previous book. Also, I read a lot, so that triggers ideas which in turn triggers stories.
Tif : Nice. Love these thoughts, especially because you have written a series. You mentioned in your bio that you are an attorney, and it must be a challenge to get into the groove of writing. When do you do your best work? Do you have a routine?
Sidney : My best work is definitely at night when my kids are asleep. I do have a routine and I’ve realized that when I don’t follow it, I am not as productive. I have to write at Starbucks. So, when my kids are in bed, I leave them with my husband, and go to my (yes, I’ve appointed it mine) comfy chair at Starbucks. The baristas already know me and sometimes they have my coffee ready. I crank loud music on my ear buds and tune everything out for about two or so hours at night. The only interruption being Twitter but that’s not really an interruption since I love to connect with my fellow writing buddies at #ladieswritenight.
Tif : It so important to connect with others especially since this is such a lonely profession sometimes. Besides these friendships, what fuels your spirit? What fills your tank?
Sidney : OY! That’s a tough question. I suppose that my supportive husband is the most important thing. I love my kids more than anything but without his support, I couldn’t write and he not only supports me but pushes me. So, his love would be what fuels my spirit. OW…that was so sappy and cute.
Tif : Aw, Sidney, that *was* so sweet! Seriously though, those closest to us are our best fans! What are your biggest distractions and how do you stay focused?
Sidney : SOCIAL MEDIA!!!! I love it and hate it. I love it because as I mentioned above, I love connecting with my ‘friends’ and I’ve really made some good friends on Twitter and Facebook. On the flip side, it can be addicting. OH…and pinterest! Ugh…once I’m logged on, you can pretty much assume no work will get done that day. I try to avoid Pinterest if I can. I stay focused by making an effort to ignore the little ‘ping’ noise on my phone/computer while I’m writing.
Tif : OK, here are the fun questions. Give me five words that describe BELOW THE BELT.
Sidney : SPICY, SWEET, FUNNY, ALPHA-FEMALE (normally you get only an alpha male. Here you get an alpha female, too!), LOVE
Tif : What do you love most about this book?
Sidney : I love that Francesca is a strong woman. I think she is different from other heroines you see in contemporary romances. But, really, I think what I loved the most is Tony and his family. Writing his accent and then his mother’s accent and their interaction—it was a lot of fun.
Tif : Now, the hard questions. :) Kisses or hugs?
Sidney : Kisses.
Tif : Call before we come over or Drop in anytime?
Sidney : Call before.
Tif : Pancakes or Waffles?
Sidney : Waffles.
Tif : Thank you so much for your interview! Triple congrats on your third release! Thank you for taking the time to drop by!
Sidney : NO! Thank you. I really appreciate it! MUAH.
There you have it folks, an awesome interview with a talented lady. Don't forget to pick up BELOW THE BELT today!